New Zealand has secured its place in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals after beating Georgia 43-10 on Friday at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. The All Blacks ran in seven tries but in truth it was a mediocre showing by the defending champions. Both teams started the match with full force and with just one minute and 15 seconds into the game, the fastest try of the tournament was recorded after Waisake Naholo went through several tacklers en route to the try line.
The New Zealanders led 7-0 after Dan Carter landed the conversion. The Georgians also responded with a try in the fifth minute from fullback Beka Tsiklauri and the conversion levelled the scores. However Kiwi winger Julian Savea scored the third try for the men in black to restore the lead but Carter missed the conversion from the touchline.
The Lelos won a penalty in the 11th minute after the two-time world champions held on at the ruck, and flyhalf Lasha Malaguradze booted the three points. Steve Hansen’s men also won a penalty minutes later and choose to set up a line out 15m from the Georgian line. Their next try arrived in the 17th minute after spreading the ball wide to the left beating the defence and winger Savea had his second of the night but Carter’s conversion was once again pulled to the right.
Penalties started to mount against the eastern Europeans and they were pinged in the 19th minute for not rolling away. Carter pushed them back into their 22 metre area before Dane Coles joined he try scorers sheet in the 21st minute after a good set up by Richie McCaw and Sonny Bill Williams. Carter clearly left his kicking boots behind, missing his third attempt out of four in the aftermath.
Hansen’s troops tried to keep it tight but several handling errors and stray passes were their undoing as the half closed at 22-10 in their favour. It took 11 second stanza minutes for the men from the land of the long white cloud to score another try. Kieran Read crossed the white wash and on this occasion Carter slotted the sundries.
The men in red held firm and gave a great account of themselves but they were stung in the last seven minutes when Savea scored his hat-trick try in the 74th minute before New Zealand finished strongly with a 77th minute Malakai Fekitoa try to add undeserved flattery to the score line. Carter converted all three second period tries as the world champions ran out 43-10 winners on a night when the man of the match award was handed to Georgian captain Mamuka Gorgodze.